KINGSTON – The year 2020 will be the third that Democratic Kingston Mayor Seven Noble has set aside funding for the three business districts to earmark a portion of the city’s budget to address issues constituents have selected through a participatory budgeting process.
Republican and Independence Party mayoral candidate Ellen DiFalco has made that a campaign issue saying she is opposed to it “until a more comprehensive accounting policy is in place to track each district’s appropriation.”
DiFalco said like Community Development Block Grant funding applications, the participatory budgeting recipients “should be required to submit documentation to allow the city to monitor whether they funding was used according to the guidelines of their program and if they are in compliance with the criteria outlined for eligibility to receive funding.”
Noble countered her argument saying DiFalco “would prefer to see these funds go to the city. That is not how participatory budgeting works.” He said the community supports the process, “which resulted in a number of wonderful organizations expanding their work to serve our community.”
Noble said the work of those selected programs and projects is documented through photographs, narrative reports, invoices and vouchers” provided at the end of each project and they all have signed agreements.